The Effects of Ebullient Supervision and Leader-Member Exchange on Job Crafting in the United States Aerospace Technical Industrial Base

Rouven Forbes


While numerous studies have documented the benefits of job crafting for employers and employees, none examine High Reliability Organizations (HROs), such as the U.S. aerospace industrial base, which have very different cultures from the service organizations typically examined in the job-crafting literature. Employees job craft when they make changes in how they perform or think about their work, thus tailoring jobs to meet personal needs and preferences. This dissertation aimed to show how leaders in HROs might be able to increase employee job crafting. Specifically, this study examined the impact of a leader’s efforts at creating a fun work environment on the quality of the leader-subordinate relationship and on employee job crafting. The dissertation draws on Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) theory to evaluate the quality of dyadic relationships between employees and their supervisors, and on the ebullient supervision literature to study leaders who create a fun work environment by enabling activities and actions employees enjoy. Hypotheses were developed and tested using a survey of professional employees from multiple Department of Defense aerospace development-related organizations. PLS-SEM analysis of data obtained from 124 employees showed that ebullient supervision predicted job crafting better than LMX. LMX was not a significant mediator between ebullient supervision and job crafting. Gender and age had no significant direct effects on task crafting, but younger employees were found to relational craft more than older employees. Due to the unique risk-adverse nature of this industry, with its dependency on established process and procedures, ebullient supervision may increase job crafting more than LMX.